Gay is so passe, it’s retro

by on July 29, 2008  •  In Culture

The New Old Gays | The New York Observer

by Doree Shafrir

… To be classified as a New Old Gay requires more than an appreciation of Patti LuPone, though love of somewhat tragic, just a tad grotesque, totally fabulous divas is a requirement. In some ways the New Old Gay can be read as a reassertion of a gay identity that had all but been given up for dead: If gays can be married and have children and live contentedly in the suburbs, or on the other end of the spectrum, do the same drugs at the same loft parties as their Oberlin classmates, and if everyone thinks AIDS is no more serious than diabetes, then, really, what’s the difference between the gays and the straights? By dialing back to and reinventing the old gay stereotypes, they may have the best shot at reclaiming gayness as something actually different.

It’s akin to the ways in which identity politics have played out for various minorities and ethnic groups; everyone makes this huge effort to assimilate, and then, after 10 or 20 years or so, they realize: It’s boring!…


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